Skylake thoughts

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CA_Steve
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Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:21 am

Seems like most review sites are completely focused on the i7-6700K and only a few bothered with the i5-6600K. It's a shame because the i5 looks a lot more interesting for the SPCR crowd. While it's in the 91W TDP bucket, stock power is solidly in the 65W range leading to pretty decent temps. Also looks like a mobo with decent VRM circuitry will lead to lower idle power than Haswell, too.

Here's a couple of reviews.
Computerbase
Guru3D
Tom's Hardware
KitGuru

Intel is introducing the rest of the lineup in Q3. My guess is we'll see more at IDF Aug 18.

fjf
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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by fjf » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:14 am

Power consumption is very good, but looks like we may have to wait and see what the better integrated graphics (GT4e) can do. The rest is tempting: HDMI 2.0, DP1.3, USB3.1, M2....This may be the generation to upgrame my ancient core2duo :lol: Seems that means waiting for Skylake-H for notebooks, which include even xeons!. Problem is those are usually soldered to the motherboard, and will likely be impossible to install in a PC. If we get something like a NUC with the better graphics and a good 4-core processor..wow!.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by edh » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:43 am

I have been in the Core-2-duo-using-skylake-waiting demographic for a long time. Now it is out I am starting to make plans for a new build. The i5-6600k is too expensive and too high TDP for my needs but it all bodes well for an i5-6400 being what I need.

Motherboard choice is still a little limited availability wise. Many boards have been announced but a lot are not yet available to buy, especially in Mini ITX where I have only seen a single Gigabyte and an eVGA being available.

Maybe October will be around the time I take the plunge. Already have my build spreadsheet set up, just got a few gaps and placeholders at the moment.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:40 am

My usual warning is to wait 2-3 months for bugs to be found and driver/uefi updates to settle down. :D

destiriser
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Post by destiriser » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:00 pm

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QUIET!
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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:07 pm

I think the focus is on the i7 for two reasons.

In general usage, the hyper threading let's you multitask more smoothly so it is an upgrade.

For gaming, DX 12 is going to lead to video games with much more effective multi threading and when that happens, the i7 with 8 threads is going to have an advantage.

That is the reason why I want the i7-6700k. It should be future proof for several years.

TDP is not really something to worry about, it is just the number the CPU uses to throttle the cores. Getting the high TDP version just means it won't throttle when its heavily loaded. At low load there should be no difference. As long as your PSU has enough power and your cooling can handle the TDP, going lower just puts a low cap on your performance.

Also, an unlocked CPU gives you more knobs to turn for under clocking if you have a situation that calls for that.

Any way, the hyperthreading, full size cache, higher clock speeds, high TDP and "k" designation are enough justification for me.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:48 pm

destiriser wrote:What's the power usage of skylake like?
I commented on this in the first paragraph of the thread. :) Read the Computerbase review for a better idea.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:51 pm

I think the focus is on the i7 for two other reasons:
- If a review site only got one CPU, chances are Intel shipped the high end one.
- Review sites tend to focus on the biggest gun.

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Post by destiriser » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:22 am

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edh
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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by edh » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:37 am

Remember that the power consumption figures are very much dependent upon motherboard. There aren't enough motherboard reviews out there to really see overall trends so far but this is something that really struck me so far at Guru3d.com, the Asus Z170 Deluxe has 15W higher idle than the MSIZ170A. 47W versus 32W:
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/as ... iew,9.html
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/ms ... ew,10.html
Load consumption is near enough the same.

I will want to see more motherboard reviews (maybe one from SPCR?) to be able to make an informed decision.
Last edited by edh on Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pod03
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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by pod03 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:33 pm

According to http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sky ... 52-11.html idle power of the CPU is a little lower than previous generation. As edh said idle power of the platform seems to depend on the mother board principally - though there does appear to be significant sample variance between processors as well.

Here is a compilation of some rough idle figures that I have made (I would be happy for this to be tidied up by somebody better at using the forum system):

http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/6224/16 ... omverbruik
MSI Gaming 7 = 24W
ASRock Z170 Gaming K6+ = 32.4W
ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ = 34.8W

http://www.ocaholic.co.uk/modules/smart ... 55&page=15
MSI Z170 Gaming M7 = 48 W
ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ = 49W
ASUS Z170-A = 56w
ASUS Z170 Deluxe = 61W

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/mainboard ... m7/?page=9 (1) 39W = ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming & (2) 42W = MSI Z170A Gaming M7
http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/ms ... iew,8.html (1) 56W = ASUS Z170-A & (2) 59W = MSI Z170A-GAMING M7
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/co ... ake,8.html i5 6600k = 25W but on ASRock Z170 Gaming K6+
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/ms ... ew,10.html MSI Z170 Gaming M7 = 32W but i7-6700K-ES
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/as ... ew,10.html ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero = 43W but i7-6700K-ES
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/co ... ake,8.html ASUS Z170 Deluxe & i7-6700K ES = 47W
http://www.computerbase.de/2015-08/inte ... skylake/8/ = 40W - but which motherboard, etc.

I am looking to buy a Z170 & i7 6700K but the difference in relative figures and in ordering of idle power between for the MSI and ASRock boards between (1) nl.hardware.info (2) ocaholic.co.uk and (3) guru3d means that making a choice is far from easy - hopefully more reviews will be clear that up. Guru3d mixed and matched processors between boards in a way that is less than ideal. Any other issues with any of the other websites that you want to volunteer should be helpful.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:25 pm

It always pays to look at the reviewer's hardware setup. Ocaholic has a GTX 980 inserted when they measure power. So, that adds 10W or so. I didn't look through the other links.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:36 pm

I have been looking at motherboards and reviews in anticipation of an i7-6700k purchase.

Two have caught my eye.

First was the MSI Z170A Krait Gaming.

Second is the Asus Z170A.

The Asus is slightly more expensive but it has some nice features. It's M.2 slot can take a 110mm card. That is important if you want an SSD with capacitors to finish off any writes in the case of power failure. That's kind of an Enterprise thing but if I can find an M.2 card with caps without spending a fortune, I can use it. It has a water pump header on the motherboard. I like air cooling but if at some point I want an AIW water cooler, I know it's plug and play with good bios control and independent fan control. Lastly it has a USB 3.1 A type connector I think. It's not common yet but it future proofs it a bit more than plain USB 3.0 or 3.1.

The MSI seems to be a much better board for memory overclocking. It can run DDR4 3600 and possibly higher while the Asus peters out at DDR3400 even when running DDR4 3600 sticks. This is conflicting. I don't intend to get super high speed memory because I have seen articles which show that RAM overclocking has minimal benefits but the Asus motherboard review I saw shows a significant difference between 2133 and 3285.

I wish people would start coming out with Z170 comparison tests, it would be so much easier to choose.

On the positive side, both reviews I have been looking at seem to indicate that neither board has any major bugs of weirdness.

Luckily my full IDF pass came through so I'll probably be able to put my hands on them and ask questions next week.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by fjf » Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:23 pm

Something I would like to have: alpine ridge. Seems only gigabyte has it for now.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:33 pm

Speaking of Gigabyte and Alpine Ridge, Newegg has an IDF attendee special on the Gigabyte Z170 Gaming G7 motherboard.

It looks well built, has a lot of nice features and at the show the price is only a small premium over the MSI and Asus motherboards I have been looking at.

The review I have found makes it sound pretty nice with Alpine Ridge, fancy Creative Audio chip with high-end caps, swappable op-amps and power filtered USB ports for USB DACs. It also has dual M.2 connectors which sound independent for doing dual NVMe drives in RAID. The power supply is 22 phases with support for ram faster than DDR4-3600. Finally it has dual bios, buttons and voltage test points so it's good for overclocking.

I kind of wish it looked a little more like their Ultra Durable line but my case doesn't have windows so I can live with the red and white.

Any way, I am going to do some more research but it's looking like I am going to buy one when I go back tomorrow or Thursday.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by edh » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:56 pm

I would be cautious on motherboards from a silence perspective right now. We don't have much info on the vital things to us like fan control and power efficiency yet. YMMV for building a silent PC.

As for this particular Gigabyte board, 22 power phases isn't a great indicator for low power consumption.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:03 pm

Well, we will see because I bought the board.

Details to follow.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:19 pm

So far, without a CPU, I am impressed with the board, the features list is outstanding.

It does have 22 phase power and it is rated for DDR4 up to 3866 I think.

Gigabyte has put some upgrade parts on this thing which I really like and it seems like a good price point if everything works as advertised.

First, it has two M.2 connectors that can run in RAID. So just about the fastest storage option out there and you can bump up the speed with RAID0 or make it redundant with RAID1.

It also has three SATA Express ports which can also do RAID, or you can break that up in to six standard SATA ports because so far SATA Express drives seem to be vapor. Then there are another two SATA ports to make the total 8 if you want.

Alpine Ridge USB 3.1/Thunderbolt. This is very cool. USB 3.1 has an alternative protocol spec where you can use a type C USB cable with a different protocol. In the case of Thunderbolt, that's 40gbps which makes external GPUs viable and a bunch of other stuff I can't even imagine. There is also 10gb ethernet over Thunderbolt so if you get a couple computers with Alpine Ridge together, you can create a very fast LAN between them. With the connector, the charging, Thunderbolt and other protocols, I feel like it's future-proof for quite a while.

The on board audio is a Creative Sound Core 3D which seems to do pretty well if the implementation isn't screwed up. Gigabyte has been using it for a while so I think chances are good that the sound quality will rival a mid range add on card. It also has a replaceable op-amp so that you can change the sound by swapping, high end caps, USB ports designed for hooking up an externally powered DAC and optical out.

It has two Ethernet ports, one Intel and one Atheros. I'll use whichever works best for me.

There are a total of five fan headers (all 4 pin) three for the case and two for the CPU and one of those can be set for a water cooler pump.

This might seem kind of silly but the ATX IO shield has RGB LED lighting. This might come in handy if I have to plug in some cables while it's in my AV rack.

It has the standard stuff like three PCIe 16x slots that can do various flavors of Crossfire and SLI, a few PCIe 1x slots for peripherals and lots of internal USB headers.

There is a nice widget for organizing front panel connectors, dual bios, power and reset buttons, a system status display for debugging and I'm sure I'm forgetting some more.

With all that, I have to say Z170 is a fully loaded chipset and Gigabyte's additions have put it over the top.

The good news is that the cheapest Z170 motherboards are going to have most of that. The Gigabyte is not a cheap one, but you get a lot for the money. I was looking at the MSI Z170A Krait Gaming and the Asus Z170 A and with IDF show pricing I paid a premium of $25-40 above those. There are some features that seem like wasted money but Alpine Ridge and a second M.2 slot easily justify the expense in my mind.

I am still waiting on my i7-6700k and CPU cooler so I can't give a full impression but the Z170 Skylake systems out there do not seem to have many problems. I think I read about one Skylake problem with some oddball legacy hardware (a sound card I think) but I haven't been seeing people freaking out because their new computer doesn't work. I keep searching Google for Z170 and i7-6700k so I think I would see it if there were problems.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by fjf » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:59 am

What I dont get is why intel did put only the GT2 iGPU on these K processors and not the GT4e. So far, seems only the new portable xeons will have it. It is a shame, because many people could just use the iGPU instead of being forced to purchase a separate GPU card, adding 100-200W to the overall power consumption.

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Post by destiriser » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:26 am

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:37 am

iGPU makes sense mostly in low power applications where discrete graphics are not possible.

If you look at Broad well reviews, you can see that the Iris graphics aren't very good except in comparison to worse iGPUs and old to near obsolete low end GPUs.

In a desktop PC with a socket, a crummy iGPU is enough or else the best iGPU is insufficient. The slice of desktop applications between those two extremes is small and mostly served by NUCs.

Intel knows what will sell and I think they might have made socket Broadwell to quiet the people who kept asking for it.

I wonder why they didn't make Broadwell for socket 1151 instead of for a platform on the way out. Its probably the integrated voltage regulator or something.

destiriser
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Post by destiriser » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:57 am

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:41 am

fjf wrote:What I dont get is why intel did put only the GT2 iGPU on these K processors and not the GT4e. So far, seems only the new portable xeons will have it. It is a shame, because many people could just use the iGPU instead of being forced to purchase a separate GPU card, adding 100-200W to the overall power consumption.
TDP constraints. The processor balances clock rates/throttling on both the CPU and GPU sides as temps get above the operating limit. If you added more EU's to the iGP, then there would be less headroom for OC'ing the CPU. Besides, the primary use of the K SKU's is overclocking, so it's doubtful many users wouldn't have a discrete GPU.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by fjf » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:34 pm

This is interesting. I do not game, but I would like to get at least a 4k (or a 5k if they are affordable) monitor for mi next putter. We'll see if the GT4e is up to the task or I'll need a discrete GPU. But I do not like NUCs or Brixes. Small, but they are a closed package. I'll wait and see the benchmarks.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:57 pm

fjf wrote:.. I would like to get at least a 4k (or a 5k if they are affordable) monitor ..
Unless you buy a Mac or other all in one that customizes the graphics interface, the max resolution is 4096 x 2304 / 60Hz via Displayport.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by QUIET! » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:17 pm

A Z170 motherboard with Alpine Ridge can also use the type C USB cable as a dual channel displayport or something.

I'm not sure what the max resolution of the cable or iGPU is but I know it is enough for 4k. I'm sure it's no good for 3D gaming at that resolution but it should do the basics pretty well.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:40 am

Looks like Asus added all of the Fan Xpert functionality into the BIOS, including fan speed calibration. :shock: That, plus letting you select the time it takes for a fan to ramp up/down is pretty darn cool.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by sschnee » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:40 am

CA_Steve wrote:Looks like Asus added all of the Fan Xpert functionality into the BIOS, including fan speed calibration. :shock: That, plus letting you select the time it takes for a fan to ramp up/down is pretty darn cool.
So, now it's independent of the OS?

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:13 am

That's the implication.

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Re: Skylake thoughts

Post by Abula » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:31 am

What would be intersting is to see the limitation or minimums it allows per header.

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